Our society has a nasty habit of erasing women from its historical memory. Whether it's because men have taken credit for their work or because their work has been ignored altogether, women who have undoubtedly contributed to our collective progress rarely get the acknowledgement they deserve.
One artist intends to change that.
María María Acha-Kutscher's inspiring Indignadas project turns modern feminist icons and broader moments of social change into vibrant works of art. The series, according to Acha-Kutsher's website, intends to "make women's efforts more visible and place women at the center of these social struggles."
"Any initiative to make visible our history as women is essential and empowers us," Acha-Kutscher told Mic. "Social changes throughout history were made by women and men together," and the failure to recognize women's role in this, she says, is "an exercise of patriarchal control."
The project began as Acha-Kutscher's way of contributing to the anti-corruption 15M social movement in her home country of Spain, but soon grew to encompass other emerging movements as well. Now, Acha-Kutscher told Mic, she derives her subjects from "the daily press news on protests where the woman is the protagonist." Her art has been printed on tarps and exhibited in public spaces all over the world.
Acha-Kutscher takes a very intentional approach to her art. Her subjects, for example, never serve as "support for the man's eyes, but as support for the political message," she writes on her website. "I believe that art is a powerful political tool to contribute to a better world," she told Mic. "A world where equality between women and men might be possible."
By disrupting the typical presentation of activists as male and championing the activist work women do, Acha-Kutscher hopes to ultimately create "a memory bank that shows future generations that social changes throughout history were made by women and men together," according to her website.
Acha-Kutscher has no plans of slowing down, describing Indignadas as an ongoing project and saying that she will continue to use art to subvert patriarchal standards and support the work of inspiring women. "While the struggles of women for emancipation and equality continue," she told Mic, "I have a great motivation and mission in my work as an artist."
It's always inspiring to see women supporting the work of their peers. It seems the only question is, who will draw Acha-Kutscher's portrait?